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Зимний Вечер December 28, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

What with all this talk of Russians and winter and student days, I think it’s time to put up any Russian student’s first poem, by none other than the great Aleksander Sergeevich himself…

Буря мглою небо кроет,
Вихри снежные крутя;
То, как зверь, она завоет,
То заплачет, как дитя,
То по кровле обветшалой
Вдруг соломой зашумит,
То, как путник запоздалый,
К нам в окошко застучит.

___Наша ветхая лачужка
И печальна, и темна.
Что же ты, моя старушка,
Приумолкла у окна?
Или бури завываньем
Ты, мой друг, утомлена,
Или дремлешь под жужжаньем
Своего веретена?

___Выпьем, добрая подружка
Бедной юности моей,
Выпьем с горя; где же кружка?
Сердцу будет веселей.
Спой мне песню, как синица
Тихо за морем жила;
Спой мне песню, как девица
За водой поутру шла.

___Буря мглою небо кроет,
Вихри снежные крутя;
То, как зверь, она завоет,
То заплачет, как дитя.
Выпьем, добрая подружка
Бедной юности моей,
Выпьем с горя; где же кружка?
Сердцу будет веселей.


1. Wyndham the Triffid - December 28, 2005

Lovely, lovely poem. Possibly.

2. BiB - December 28, 2005

Wynders, I just knew you’d love it…

3. lukeski - December 28, 2005

You can’t beat a bit of the old boy, can you. Strangely enough, London feels like it is in the grip of a Central/East European cold snap at the moment. The flat is oscillating between being absolutely freezing and being sauna-like when the heater has been on for more than 3 seconds. And the hot water keeps running out. I washed in a Russian manner this mroning (and not for the first time this winter) in two pots of water heated on the stove. And I froze my knackers off waiting for the water to boil on the stove. Nado stradat’…

4. BiB - December 28, 2005

Oh, Lukeski, what a lovely image of you quivering as you waited for your pots to boil. I have resorted this very day to going down into the cellar – German flats usually nicely come with a cellar thrown in – to get the slippers I used to wear in St. Petersburg which are more like boots than slippers.

Luckily, I was never afflicted by a lack of hot water in a Russian winter. Watching the TV news then would be unbearable as the thieves in government in the Far East would invariably have stolen the money to pay for heating oil and people would not only have no hot water or heating in -30 but often no water or electricity at all. The flats would be thick with ice inside. Thick, literally. And, oddly, people would spend more time on the streets than indoors because they could make bonfires and cook there. Hopefully the thieves have all died in horrible accidents since.

When they used to switch the hot water off in St. Petersburg for weeks at a time in summer ‘for repairs’, I still couldn’t get used to cold showers and used to spend a good couple of hours each day heating water in every receptacle known to man or beast to then have a half-inch of water to take a bath in. Yes, suffering indeed…

5. leon - December 29, 2005

It’s not until your boiler breaks down that you begin to realise that hot water is the one essential thing that stops people running amok and killing each other. As a student I lived without many things for varying periods of time, but cut my hot water off for even a day and I go berserk.

And yes, London has that real icy feel at present, as if the wind is blowing straight from the Urals. Quite like it actually.

6. Anonymous - December 31, 2005

Just to throw a googly in there – it’s 42 degrees in Melbourne this evening (still at 6.30pm) so we’re more into cooling than heating at the moment and there’s enough hot water indeed. Won’t stop us watching Dinner for One on television this evening.

Wish I could understand the poem but then Russian was always so much harder than German.

7. pdberger - January 4, 2006

Thanks for that Dezik! I really miss that poem, even though I could not stand our poetry classes. I don’t suppose you have the great “K” to hand? Ia pomniu chudnoe mgnovenie/ pered o mnoiu iavilas’ ty/ kak mimoletnoe videnie/ kak genii chistoi krosoty…

8. Bren - January 5, 2006

Still alive, Broke?

9. Wyndham the Triffid - January 6, 2006

I was wondering that myself.

10. BiB - January 7, 2006

Thank you, Anonymous of Melbourne, for that little weather report. 42 degrees at 6.30pm! Phew, what a scorcher! And you get Dinner for One even that far away? I missed it this year… In any case, for the first time in my life, I am setting off for the Antipodes later this month on a ludicrously extravagant hol so hope to get a scorcher or two myself before getting back to Berlin’s icy February climes.

Pavvers, I shall track down the poem immediately.

Leon, I’ve got a feeling London, like Berlin, has probably now settled back into what I affectionately call ‘English weather’: tupperware sky, +2 or +3, unmythic wind. Hoping a proper, howling winter will return for a day or two before I set off on my travels. (And the hot water has withstood the cold and the strain of female guests.)

Erratus and Wynders, thank you for making me feel loved. It was just a festive, guestive hiatus. Expect blogging diarrhoea from now on…

11. leon - January 10, 2006

London’s best described as ‘soggy’ at the moment.

12. BiB - January 11, 2006

Leon (my Russian almost-brother-in-law is called Leon and I still do a double-take every time I see your name and think he’s ‘discovered’ me (and learnt English)), if I dare drag us away from meteorological conditions for just a sec, I have sought the advice of IHMN on how to categorise a link to your site. You are, I am reliably informed, not a blog. Will you take me to the cleaners if I file you under ‘miscellaneous’ (along with a Russian sort-of-blog)? Or do you want to get bunged in with ‘culture’ along with Radio 4 and a photographic site about Belarus. L’embarras du choix, eh?

13. leon - January 11, 2006

If the truth be known it’s sort of an allegorical blog, though I don’t really write enough for it to qualify as a blog. Perhaps file it under ‘blogs’ for neatness? But either way, thanks for the link…

I am foully hungover this morning.

14. BiB - January 11, 2006

I’ll blogroll you, as I think we say in the trade, as soon as I remember how to.

How lovely! A hangover! All in a good cause, I trust? Hurrah for January high jinks.

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